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Merchandising Merit

      
      
Make an offer
           they can't refuse


Boost post-holiday sales with simple displays featuring high-quality products priced to sell.

If your floral department is a ghost town after Valentine’s Day, improve sales with an exceptionally priced, high-quality product not always found in your store.

Two weeks after Valentine’s Day, the Hy-Vee, Inc. floral department in Fremont, Neb., followed up its holiday rush with a simple but effective African violet promotion that produced unexpected sales. The display was set up on a Thursday and was sold out by Monday. The display was entered in the 2005 “Merchandising Award of Excellence” contest, sponsored by Super Floral Retailing and Börgen Systems.

OFFER A GOOD PRICE
When planning a display that follows a big floral holiday like Valentine’s Day, you must offer an item priced so well that customers can’t pass it up. The Fremont Hy-Vee’s floral manager at the time found a great deal on high-quality African violets and passed the savings on to customers.

TARGET YOUR AUDIENCE
Although a great price will entice shoppers, it’s important to choose a product that will appeal to your particular audience to complete the sale. Marlene French, an associate in the floral department, says her store’s customers are older, so they enjoyed a timeless favorite like African violets and appreciated their high quality. During the African violet promotion, Ms. French says many customers purchased one in each color.

CHOOSE A HIGH-TRAFFIC AREA
After Valentine’s Day, you can’t expect customers to come looking for you. You have to bring the goods to them. For the African violet promotion, the floral staff set up a metal merchandiser near the deli, salad bar and hot food section.

KEEP IT SIMPLE
The staff attracted attention by wrapping the metal merchandiser in bright purple Mylar to complement the colors of the violet blossoms but left the plants in their original plastic pots. Signage also was straightforward. Hy-Vee’s sign shop provided a colorful banner to hang over the display that told the type of plant and the price. Smaller signage within the display gave the price, too, but also pointed out that the plants were a “hot buy.”

OFFER AN UPGRADE
Although the floral department left the African violets in their original pots, it offered customers the option of upgrading them for a small charge. The staff turned the plants into gifts by putting them into baskets, adding moss and attaching bows.

PROVIDE SOMETHING EXTRA
Additional add-on sales came from complementary items. Along with some African violet-themed ceramic gifts, customers found all the care products they needed for the plants right in the display, such as African violet plant soil, plant food and containers. For those unfamiliar with caring for the plants, the staff included care instruction fliers that shoppers could take home or include with their gifts.
 

You can reach Merchandising Merit writer Monica Humbard at mhumbard@superfloralretailing.com or (800) 355-8086.

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